Six-Year-Old Catches Monster Fish

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Scott Baker knew he was bending the rules a bit when he made the decision to let his 6-year-old son, Hunter, skip school for a morning and go fishing. The 14-plus-pound reward substantially made up for the scolding Scott received from Hunter’s teacher the next day.

After spending an eventful Sunday slamming walleye on the Winooski, the older Baker caved into Hunter’s requests and let him tag along the next morning when he, and his other fishing buddy, returned to the river. According to Scott, around 9:00 a.m. one of the rods they were trolling appeared to be snagged, and Hunter enthusiastically started to reel it up.

It didn’t take long to realize Hunter had more than weeds on his line.

“At first I told him to keep reeling—that he probably had a pretty good walleye on,” said Scott. “He can be a little stubborn and he wanted to do it all himself.”

Soon the fish was at the boat. Upon seeing it roll the older Baker, and his other fishing partner, realized Hunter’s fish was something special. Unfortunately, all they had was a small catch-and-release net.

“When the fish was next to the boat I told Hunter not to touch the line—he only had 8-pound flora carbon on and it would snap in a second,” said Scott.

After scooping the fish into the boat, the two older fishermen were jumping up and down high-fiving each other. Hunter acted like a seasoned pro.

The group continued to fish and landed several other good walleye including an 8-pounder. When they returned home, Hunter’s lake trout was put on a hand-held scale and weighed 14.1 pounds. Equally as impressive is the length. At just under 34 inches it is one of the longest lakers to come out of Champlain in recent history.

This spring, it seems that Champlain is producing a surprising number of large lake trout.

“I have heard about a couple of lakers over 14-pounds being caught this year,” said Outdoors Magazine Editor Kyle Scanlon. “You go years without hearing about one that big in Champlain. To see a couple in the same short time span is truly amazing. It makes me wonder what we are going to witness when the derby action heats up on the lake in a couple of weeks,” he said.

The Bakers were fishing several miles up the Winooski River—not the typical area one would expect to land a prize laker. What the fish was doing there remains a mystery.

“Of course Hunter goes into school the next morning and tells his teacher all about it…” said Scott with a wry smile.